On Sunday the highly anticipated fourth season of Rick and Morty debuted its first episode, and featured a lot of the trademarks we've come to expect from the bananas sci-fi comedy series. New aliens, new gizmos, new trinkets that Rick needs for his experiments, and naturally, new alternate universes. The multiverse of Rick and Morty has been vast since it first debuted, and the first episode of the season four took it in unexpected and hilarious places while also covering some ground that should naturally be expected when accounting for an infinite number of universes.
In the new episode, the frame of the story stems from Rick accidentally dying while on an adventure with Morty. Since Rick previously destroyed all of his clone bodies in the garage, his consciousness is uploaded into a clone Rick body in an alternate universe via the “Operation Phoenix” protocol. The first of these new universes that Rick finds himself in as a self-described fascist dystopia, stylized with crossed wrench insignias in a parody of Pink Floyd's The Wall. After dying in that universe and going to another, Rick is reborn in a shrimp universe, quickly revealed to ALSO be a fascist dystopia. Following his death there, Rick is reborn in a teddy bear universe, which is also a fascist dystopia. Finally, Rick arrives in the last alternate universe of the episode, a wasp alternate dimension, which is frankly just like the regular universe save for everyone being wasps and the Smith family all eating a larvae Mr. Goldenfold for dinner.
These four new universes join a stacked roster of alternate worlds including the likes of lizard Rick and Morty, Doofus Rick and Morty, Evil Rick and Morty, and the Cronenberg World (technically the original universe of the Rick and Morty multiverse, simply abandoned after all inhabitants mutate into a variety of disfigured beasts following the fallout of Rick Potion No. 9).
Rick and Morty Season 4 will be 10 episodes in length, much like all of the other seasons of the show, save for the first (11 episodes). However, the release schedule of Season 4 will me much different than in years past. This time around, the season will be split into two halves.
There will only be five new episodes of Rick and Morty released in 2019, including Sunday night's premiere. Another five episodes, the second half of the season, will be released in 2020. While that's a little disappointing for those who wanted a ton of new Rick and Morty at once, it will at least keep the show from once again disappearing for years on end.
The next episode of Rick and Morty will air on Sunday, November 17 at 11:30 pm ET, it's titled "The Old Man and the Seat," a parody of the Ernest Hemingway novel.